Windows 10 is now four years old, and Microsoft has begun to look towards the future. Flavors of it are available on everything from your PC to your Xbox. While they share the same name and some resources, they’re very different.
The Windows Core OS Project is Microsoft’s plan to develop one single OS for the future. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
What Is Windows Core OS?
Windows Core OS hasn’t been officially announced, but eagle-eyed watchers spotted this LinkedIn job description, with Microsoft looking to hire somebody for the team developing it. Given that Windows 10 is its current OS, it’s clear that Windows Core OS is intended to replace it.
Rather than develop the same operating system four or five times, each with different components, Microsoft wants to develop a single core OS. It takes “OneCore,” which is some of the shared code already in place, and develops this new OS around it. With this, it’ll build the new “ecosystem” mentioned in the job description.
With a single base, they can then prepare different versions with different features and settings far easier than has been the case with Windows 10.
It’s also important to note that Windows 10 is an evolution of previous Windows NT, starting with Windows NT 3.1 back in 1993. Any older and unsupported code can be swept aside with the newer, more platform-independent Windows Core.
How Is It Different than Windows 10?
At the moment, Microsoft has several different versions of Windows 10. They share some features, but you couldn’t install Windows 10 for Xbox on a PC, for instance.
There are also new types of tech to think about: new mobile devices, newer formats, different sizes, and new platforms. CPU architecture, for instance, requires different versions with the same core interface.
To streamline the process, Windows Core OS (“AndromedaOS” in earlier leaks) will make this simpler. Any extra information on differences between Windows 10 and Windows Core OS will come with leaks, or via official announcements from Microsoft, in the near future.
What we can speculate is that “C-Shell.” a shared interface for Windows devices that’s already in development for Windows 10, will play a major part in the Windows Core OS ecosystem. “Polaris,” another leaked project codename, will build upon C-Shell to provide a common interface across all Windows Core OS devices.
When Will Windows Core OS Be Released?
Don’t expect Windows Core OS to hit your devices in the near future. Microsoft Core OS hasn’t been announced to the public, with information skimmed from job postings and profiles.
You might expect an initial release of Windows Core OS to take place one to two years after an official announcement. Windows 10, for instance, was announced in fall 2014 and then released in summer 2015. Windows 8, before it, was announced in early 2011 with the initial release in summer 2012.
There’s no chance of Windows 10 support ending any time soon, either. Microsoft releases new versions every spring and fall, and it’s likely that Microsoft will continue to develop new features and support for its current operating system for several years to come.
The Future of Windows
Windows Core OS is the next evolution of Microsoft’s central strategy for one platform, many devices. Windows 10 was the first stage, but Windows Core OS will streamline the process.
It’s still an internal Microsoft project, so it’s safe to assume that it’s still some years away. You can give Linux a try for a different desktop experience in the mean time.